Sunday, June 7, 2009

SQLSaturday 14 – Pensacola Wrap Up

Great day today in Pensacola for SQLSaturday 14.  There were 170+ attendees and I am pretty sure everyone was pleased with the event.  The day started out okay, there was a little confusion when check-in first started and the rooms were a little hard to find at first, but both issues were corrected fairly quickly.  One thing they did very well was having volunteers placed at strategic places directing traffic.  Also this was the first SQLSaturday I had been to where the volunteers had different shirts than speakers, so they were easy to identify.  The other thing that they did that I liked was that there was name tag for every attendee.  This definitely made it easier to introduce yourself. 

I sat in on Tim Mitchell’s session, Unconventional ETL using SSIS Scripting, which was well-done and covered areas where the controls built-in to SSIS do not meet the specific need.  It was a well attended and received session.  I think SSIS sessions are always popular because people are always looking for better ways to use SSIS. 

I was doing my Getting Started with SQL Server Profiler session in the afternoon and was going to be followed by Brad McGehee doing another Profiler session.  Needless to say I was a little nervous at first since he has written a book on Profiler.  We were able to discuss our sessions a little before lunch and it turned out that our sessions really meshed well.  I was giving an introduction and overview on how to use Profiler, while his session was more advanced and gave examples of how to use Profiler to troubleshoot specific problems.  His session was the session I attended in the afternoon.  My session went well and had about 15-20 attendees.  As usual I asked who had used Profiler and I was surprised that only 4 had used Profiler.  It went well and I had some good questions, all of which I could answer, and the feedback I got was all positive.

During lunch I wandered in and out of Andy Warren’s talk on What is PASS?”.  Unfortunately, there are still many SQL Server developers/DBA’s that aren’t aware of PASS and what PASS does.  It was good to hear about the direction PASS is going and to see the time being taken to promote PASS.

The day at Pensacola Junior College ended in the auditorium to raffle of the swag.  The 2 big items were a $200 Amazon gift card donated by Bitwizards and an XBox 360 (I don’t recall who donated it).  There were also “smaller” items donated by Confio, Redgate, and other sponsors.  It looked like over 100 folks hung around for the raffle although 1 person who did not stay had their name drawn twice!

After the raffle it was of Rosie O’Grady’s in the Seville Quarter for the after party.  This was also well attended with about 50 in attendance.   Overall a really good day with great learning and networking opportunities. 

My next post will be a follow up on networking results and people I met.  I’ll also plan on posting the results from my speaker evaluations when they come out.

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